Flame Kingdom – 5

Editor: (None)

5 (The Depressed Lady)
 
 
– Author Note: This time it is first person POV because first person POV is easy to write. – 
 
“… [I’m sorry for troubling you, and thank you for helping me], ne…” 
 
I heave a sigh and threw the letter casually at the table. Even if this was a letter that comes from my little sister, it is still a letter from the Queen, it won’t be weird if I ended up being accused of lese majeste if someone see how I treat the letter, though I’m sure my sister won’t even complaint even if she found out about it… 
For aristocrats a frank letter from the ruler, furthermore it was written with apologies, this kind of letter mostly would be treated as an heirloom or something. 
 
“… Well, that girl won’t sent this kind of letter to other aristocrats though, thankfully…” 
 
But that was also a proof that that child, Elizabeth Orlenfeld Flame is related by blood to me, Erika Orlenfeld von Flame. 
 
“No matter how much I said she should fix her behavior, she keeps staying the same… should I call that bad or good, I wonder?” 
 
I, Erika Orlendfeld von Flame is the elder sister of the Flame Kingdom’s Queen. In this country, usually the eldest child inherited the throne, but there is a reason as to why I who was three years older didn’t inherit the throne. 
 
That is because I was a child born from a concubine… Or commonly known as “Mistress child”. 
 
Normally, in the world of aristocrats, the child of concubines would live poorly. But I have no memory of living in a shady place at all. 
 
[Look Erika! I tried to make some sweet! Go on, try it!] 
 
When I closed my eyes, the figure of the previous first Queen, Her Majesty Angelica, appeared inside my mind. 
Well… The taste of the sweet itself is normal… In fact, it could be said as a blasphemy to the ingredient if it was only ended up tasted like that but, Angelica-sama still loved me despite I was only a child born from a mistress. Even when Angelica-sama had her own child, Elizabeth, her attitude didn’t change. 
Of course, I don’t know if that was bad or good then… She would pour her love to the child of a mistress, sometimes get angry, sometimes laugh,  It was as if discrimination and differentiation didn’t exist, her behavior was indeed similar to that of a holy mother. 
Thus we might look like an ideal family but, unfortunately, we’re a ‘royal family’. 
 
“Well I guess, she is indeed the child of Angelica-sama…” 
 
Did Angelica-sama know that behind her kindness, those disloyal retainers tried to instigate my mother to put me on the throne instead? 
 
Did Angelica-sama know that those disloyal vessels had taken advantage of her kindness and demanded me to be on the throne? 
 
… I bet Angelica-sama didn’t realize. Because of her kindness, those disloyal retainers had planned to kill my cute little Liz… 
 
“…” 
 
*sigh* There’s no use for me to think of this… Reflecting that, I resumed my work and read the income and expenditure report, the result, it caused my mood to turn darker instead. 
 
“… Deficit again…” 
 
I sighed without thinking after looking at the last line of the report, red [▲] is written… Honestly… 
 
“… Erika-sama.” 
 
Suddenly the door was knocked, when I turn my eyes to the door, black eyes were gazing at me. 
 
“I don’t think there’s a meaning in you knocking the door if you opened the door before I replied, don’t you think so, Emily?” 
 
“Pardon me for saying this, Erika-sama. But the door is open since the beginning.” 
 
“Is that so?” 
 
“Yes. Please close the door properly if Erika-sama thinks that being seen would turn into an awkward situation…” 
 
Saying that my maid sent her cold line of sight with deadpan expression at me… Though I said that, she is the only maid here… For now, I replied her with a bitter smile on my face. 
 
“That’s my bad then… Also, it is not something serious, so I don’t mind being seen…” 
 
‘Do you want to see?’, I offered her to read the documents in my hand. After she read the documents, her expression turns gloomy. 
 
“… Deficit again is it?” 
 
“Yes…” 
 
I shrugged my shoulders. 
 
“… This is not Erika-sama fault.” 
 
“… Thank you. Even if it’s just to amuse me, I’m happy.” 
 
“I’m not trying to amuse Erika-sama. Even if other Flame… No, rather, even any nobles in this Orkena continent, if they are being given this land, then the result would still be the same. The salty wind along the coastline making it hard for agriculture, and due to the salty soil the harvest also negligible. In this land, Rondo de Terra, we don’t have tourist resort or even special product that could attract people… In fact, it is thanks to Erika-sama virtue that we only suffer this much deficit.” 
 
Saying all of that in one breath, Emily’s expression returned to her usual deadpan. 
 
‘Virtue’, she said… 
 
“… Thank you, Emily. So then? you surely not coming here just to comfort me?” 
 
“… Right, I almost forgot… Dinner is ready… Does Erika-sama want to eat it here?” 
 
Looking at the documents once again, I decided… I know I’m busy, but still… – 
 
“… No. Today is the day we meet Kota, let us take it easy and eat in the dining room…”
 
“Are you sure?” 
 
“It is true that I’m busy, but it does not mean that I could not spare some little time…” 
 
Showing consent, Emily slightly bowed her body. I leave my seat and went outside the room, with Emily following behind me. 
 
“Well let us go… Shall we hear the story from the ‘hero’ from another world?” 
 
———————————————– 
 
“Ah, Erika-san…” 
 
“O my? Have you been waiting? It is alright for you to eat first you know?” 
 
As I went to the dining room, I saw Kota who was on the table, seeing me he immediately stood up from his chair. I then took the seat in front of Kota. 
 
“No no, there’s no way I could eat before the owner of the house…” 
 
“You don’t have to be that humble you know? Try to relax a little bit…” 
 
“Well, this is not me trying to be humble… But more like a common courtesy, I think?” 
 
… I see. He’s not trying to be humble, but common courtesy is it? 
 
“That is good attitude… Is that your country, no, is that common courtesy of the world you’d come from?” 
 
Hearing my words Kota looked surprised and directed his gaze at Emily who’s standing behind me. 
 
“It is fine… Emily already knows your identity…” 
 
“… It might be rude for me to ask this but, is that really okay?” 
 
“Let see… At least I think it should be okay, so you can trust her.” 
 
“Your words are wasted on me.” 
 
Behind me, Emily lowered her head. Even without looking back I can feel it. 
 
“If that is the case then, there’s nothing I can say. Well, I did say that what I did was courtesy but, it is not to the point of being called as the etiquette of my world, something like that should be regarded as normal, no?” 
 
“… Well, I guess you’re right… Then, I’ve kept you waiting… Let us eat now…” 
 
At the same time with my words, Emily brought dishes for two people. It was not luxurious dishes but the material used for the food was first class, expecting his manners, I ended up glanced at Kota. 
 
“… Hee…” 
 
“… W-What is it?” 
 
Kota turned his gaze to me. Oh my, did he hear me? 
 
“That was rude of me. I was surprised by your unexpectedly superb table manners. 
 
“… Ah, that was a lapse of memory. Does my table manners up to your standard?” 
 
“I do find some discomfort in some part, but I think I can feel the elegance from your manners. At least, I don’t feel you’re looking strange. Did you learn it from the time you’re with Her Majesty?” 
 
“No, this is the result of induction course.” 
 
“[Kenshuu] ?” 
 
“Ah, that is… I have learned the table manners at my workplace. Since I don’t know what kind of person, when and where would invite me to eat, I don’t want to disgrace myself you see…” 
 
“… Hee…” 
 
“… Although most of the time, I’ve rarely had the opportunity to use it. I’m glad that I still remember how to do it.” 
 
Kota laughed while saying that. 
 
“… Not only table manners, as expected many things are different eh…” 
 
Suddenly Kota looked sad. I don’t know if that expression because of the feeling of yearning or loneliness but, I don’t like that expression. 
 
“… Once again, I apologize for what happened to you.” 
 
“He? Ah, no no! Because I thought many things are different, I just feel somehow sentimental for some reason! ” 
 
Kota appearance that was trying his best to explain himself made me laugh a little. 
 
“All this time, you’re only apologizing. You should be more confident in yourself you know?” 
 
All this time, he only said “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.” for some reason. In fact, with him doing that, made me feel more guilty instead. 
 
“Ah, I’m sorry…” 
 
“See, you said that again…” 
 
“Ah… Well, this is a bit of a habit of mine… Or rather, it is like a national character from the country I come from…” 
 
“Apologizing as a national character?” 
 
That was a very interesting country, I thought. 
 
“It’s not about the apologizing… It’s more like expressing the thing that one could not express it properly, or to mask one’s real thought in public…” 
 
“… Is that a country that always does double-dealing?” 
 
“On the contrary, is there a country that is not doing that?” 
 
… True. In diplomacy, double-dealing is the basic. 
 
“…By the way, you, can you actually read Flame language?” 
 
The book that I handed to him was written in Flame language. I didn’t expect him to be able to read it when only short time had passed. 
 
“I do manage to read it a little… Or should I say, I could understand the character naturally the moment its entered my eyes…” 
 
“… That’s… What to say… It’s somehow convenient isn’t it?” 
 
“I agree… To be honest, I don’t understand why we could communicate but… I guess there’s no problem as long we could understand each other.” 
 
“I guess so… If it is something bad then one should investigate the cause, but if it’s something good, then why not accept it… is that how it is?” 
 
“I think it is necessary to investigate the truth even if it is something good but, I don’t know what I don’t know…” 
 
Saying that Kota shrugged his shoulders. 
 
“Well fine then. So? do you manage to know about the Flame Kingdom a little?” 
 
“… Hmm, let see…” 
 
Saying that Kota closed his eyes as if trying to recall something… 
 
“The Flame Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy born from [Empire dissolution], it was a decision made by the fifth Flame Empire’s Emperor, Dietrich. Since generation after generation the Flame family had inherited the throne, the Flame family ended up being known as the “Successor of the Flame Empire”, and the kingdom being known as “The Millennium Kingdom”. The royal capital of the Kingdom is Larcia. The capital was the same capital as the former Flame Empire, because of that the city has many buildings dated back to the Orkena middle ages era, it is also known as the [ancient capital city]. 
 
The legal language of the Kingdom is Flame language. However, merchants and business people such as lodgings and restaurants could write and read Orkena Continent language. In the first place Flame Language itself was derived from Orkena Continent Language, thus it has many similarities, even if you only know one language you can communicate with each other just fine unless the talk is something detailed. 
 
The common currency is the White gold coin, Gold coin, Silver coin, and Copper coin. One White Gold coin equal to two Gold coins, one Gold coin is equal to five Silver coins, and one Silver coin is equal to ten copper coins. Although prices vary slightly depending on each town, generally the prices in the kingdom are higher compared to other countries. The yearly consumption for a four-member family is around 300 to 400 White Gold coins. 
 
Security in the urban area such as Larcia, Titanium, Laura, and Bundesbach, because there’s the Kingdom’s guard garrison there, the security is relatively good. However, outside the urban area, there are many outlaws, thus visitor needs to be careful… How is it?” 
 
Unintentionally I ended up watching him with a blank expression… 
 
“… Amazing.” 
 
“Well, it is something that I must remember after all.” 
 
“… Let me test you, what is the things to note about the Flame Kingdom?” 
 
“When making a sightseeing trip to the Flame Kingdom, one should stop by and spend some time at the ancient capital city Larcia. It is the birthplace of Orkena medieval culture, for the purpose of protecting the culture, historical building such as the former Larcia imperial university grand auditorium, Larcia Cathedral Church,  Larcia General St.Georg Church, are left as they are. In addition, with the distance approximately 1 day of a horse carriage, located north of Larcia, there is Titanium a metropolis center which has a culture full of exoticism.  If you’re tired of ordinary sightseeing, you might go to Laura, located at the south of Larcia. Laura is the only city in the Flame Kingdom where public gambling is permitted, in Orkena continent, Laura is the second largest entertainment city after PersenaCC… Many people call the city as the city that never sleeps.” 
 
“… Perfect. You sure manage to remember all of that.” 
 
“… Rather than that, what’s with that book? It’s written on the cover [Orkena Continent Guide: Flame Kingdom Edition], Isn’t that a Travel magazine instead of a book?” 
 
“That book is the most popular recently you know?” 
 
“… Well, I guess it’s fine…” 
 
Again, Kota shrugged his shoulders. That was probably his habit too. 
 
“By the way, about Rondo de Terra…” 
 
“Terra… Normally we call it just Terra…” 
 
“Terra, is there something like special product here? Or maybe a sightseeing spot? If I can, I would like to see this city sightseeing spot…” 
 
“…” 
 
… He hit right at the place where it was the most painful. That was the thing I was troubled with since a while ago. 
 
“… I did tell you that the book I gave you was the best selling, no?” 
 
“… Ah, I see…” 
 
Kota seems to immediately understand what I meant. Somehow I feel slightly annoyed by it. 
 
“… Well since it has become the topic, let me tell you myself. Terra has no special product, no special items, no sightseeing spots. The city itself was made along an inlet, so the flat land itself is small, and because of the sea breeze the crops product didn’t go well…” 
 
“Err…” 
 
“Speaking frankly, Terra is not an attractive city. Pretty much, I do have some [position] as the elder sister of the Queen but, my income is fewer compared to Baron or Viscount rank.” 
 
Saying that makes me feel sad, but I can’t lie here… 
 
“That’s why I’m sorry but I cannot welcome you luxuriously. We did summon you forcibly… At least I could provide you some basic necessities?” 
 
‘I’m sorry okay?’, That word crossed my mind, but I decided to swallow it and smiled. To be honest… I ended up feeling really sad after saying all of that. 
 
“…” 
 
“…” 
 
“…” 
 
“… Say something would you?” 
 
“… Err… I don’t know what to say.” 
 
Saying that, for a brief moment, I directed my gaze to the ceiling. 
 
“… Is that all?” 
 
“… Huh?” 
 
Just for a bit, I feel a little apologetic. 
 
“… Err, how should I say this…” 
 
But still, I will say it clearly. 
 
“… Emm, Have you ever thought of making the unattractive place become an attractive place? Even as a joke, [Feudal Lord].” 
 
 
… What did he say?… 
 
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